Outsourcing Your Marketing – Pros and Cons
Marketing is necessary for every business but for most business owners, it’s their least favorite expense on the budget each year.
When it comes to marketing, every company is faced with three decisions, hire someone, expand the responsibility to someone on staff or outsource the tasks to an agency. Most, if not all companies understand the process of hiring someone with a specialized skill set and what having someone in-house take on more responsibilities entails.
As a branding and marketing agency that has been in business for more than 50 years, our clients regularly weigh benefits and drawbacks before outsourcing their marketing to us. Throughout the years, with every client differing, one thing is certain, each company will evaluate the pros and cons before outsourcing.
Pros of outsourcing your marketing
1.) Cost – According to the US Bureau of Statistics, 70% of an employee’s wage package is from their salary. The other 30% comes from taxes and benefits included into that wage package. You can save 30% for every marketing employee on staff if you decided to outsource instead.
To go along with reducing the number of employees, the resources your business needs will decrease. The firm you are hiring already has its own computers, software, office supplies and tools they need to do the job.
Not having an in-house marketing team reduces real estate costs. The office space your business rents or purchases will be smaller.
Outsourcing your marketing can reduce cost in a multitude of ways as well as lower your business’s overhead.
2.) Time – One of the biggest benefits to outsourcing your marketing is time. Developing quality marketing content takes hours of dedication for each piece. Writing, editing, graphic design, video production, as well as interacting with your social media followers takes considerable time on a daily basis.
3.) Expertise – Marketing firms are staffed with experts who specialize in various marketing aspects. These include branding, creative content and distribution.
Having a team of experts develop your marketing campaigns will result in higher sales, more leads and overall better results. With a marketing firm, you’re hiring a team of experts who have a keen eye and the experience to accomplish any and all tasks.
4.) Return on investment – A professional marketing firm will develop an expected ROI for your marketing campaigns. As well as provide you with a breakdown of how well your brand is doing online. All marketing firms should give you details of exactly where your marketing funds are being allocated.
Marketing firms are hired to expand a company’s client base and retain existing clients. The marketing firms that stay in business are the ones that are able to create prosperous relationships with their clients.
The digital marketing programs that businesses conduct today provide a lot of metrics. Marketing firms are going to have the personnel that can dissect Google AdWords campaigns and make the proper changes that will provide a higher quality score and a lower cost per click. Also, with Google Analytics, a firm will be able to tell you exactly what is working and needs to be changed.
5.) Consistency – Outsourcing your marketing means you are hiring people who are highly efficient and skilled in a specialized aspect of business. A professional will establish deadlines, time tables, deliverables, milestones and program completion.
A reputable firm will be creating high quality marketing campaigns. They want to retain your business and the only way to properly do that is by delivering consistently and in a timely manner.
6.) New perspective on your business – As you run your business each and every day, you know what makes it tick better than anyone. You have the insights into all the contributing factors that makes your business successful. But an objective viewpoint will help by lending advice and alternative points
Your outsourced marketing partner will be bringing a fresh perspective to your business. The firm will be able to position your brand in such a way that your message will reach new customers, while satisfying the expectations of your current customers.
7.) Forefront of industry updates – Your marketing agency will be keeping you abreast of on your industry’s changes and at the forefront of marketing trends.
As your businesses sector experiences rapid change, a new marketing strategy should be deployed to either maintain a brand position or reposition the brand in a more effective manner. The same is true for the marketing industry as well. In years past with the massive change from print to online advertising, you need to partner with marketing experts who can capitalize on these changes.
8.) Fruitful business relationship – In the long run, working with a marketing agency could become your most trusted business relationship. As the firm you work with becomes more in tune with your brand, they’ll be able to align you with your ideal customers. hand over control of the marketing to a third party and you’ll be able to focus on the most important parts of your business.
The marketing agency will be able to help develop new business growth strategies as the market and industries change. As long as there is an open line of honest communication between your business and your marketing agency, your business will experience benefits for years to come.
Cons of outsourcing your marketing
1.) Loss of complete control – The best and yet the scariest concept about outsourcing is giving up absolute control of an entire department of your business. Of course, in the end you always have the final say, but how the marketing firm takes you from “point A” to “point B” is in their control.
You will not be able to see the day to day operations of how the outsourced marketing firm is managing the tasks you assigned to them. As long as the firm is clear with their deliverables and the timetable, then giving up absolute control should be easily done.
2.) Hiring the wrong firm – When outsourcing to a marketing agency, look for a firm that is best suited to fit your needs. It is easy to find a marketing agency, but it is also beneficial to find an agency that has worked in your business sector and understands the purchasing habits of your particular industry.
Hiring the wrong firm could weaken your brand’s reputation. Should it diminish, the relationships you have with your existing clientele will suffer. As your reputation deteriorates, so will prospects for new business.
In the long run, it will cost your business dearly to rebuild the proper brand reputation and reestablish the client base you once had.
3.) Misplaced passion – The third party you hire will do it’s very best to learn all the ins and outs of your business but the personal passion you have cannot be duplicated.
A marketer working on your assignments may only view them as particular tasks that need to be completed carefully and on time. This can lead to an exceptional ROI, but the outside marketer may share the same level of enthusiasm about the new growth and prosperity as an employee might feel.
4.) Privacy concerns – When you outsource, the firm you are hiring is going to have access to information you may consider “sensitive”.
As with hiring a new employee, it is wise to do a background check on the firm you are doing business with. As long as you are working with a firm that is honest and trustworthy then there should be no concerns about privacy.
To add another layer of protection, have the firm sign a non-disclosure agreement or any other contract that will protect your business.
5.) Conflict of interest – Before you hire an outsourced marketing agency, a perfectly fair question to ask is, “are you working with one of my competitors?” While you understand that the firm you hire is going to have other clients, you may prefer to hire an agency that does not service your immediate competition.
The firm may not be able to go into specific details on exactly what they were hired to do by your competitors but you will be able to find out, yes or no, and if they were hired to handle similar takes or completely different assignments.
From there, the decision is up to you.
6.) Immediate action – Marketing teams do have other clients and schedules they need to manage and may not result in the timely action you desire.
The firm’s other clients should not become a factor as long as the firm you hired is organized and handles their scheduling properly.
Clearly outlining the expectations at the beginning of the relationship should help deter any potential problem.
7.) Out of business – If hard times befall your marketing firm, there is a risk they may close their doors. As long as the company you outsourced to is transparent and communicates effectively then there shouldn’t be too much concern about a transition period.
As a precaution, it is always a good idea to have the necessary details of the assignments that were being worked on. Details such as website login and password.
8.) Less hands-on deck at the office – For smaller businesses, a marketing position may be a combination of a few different job titles.
The in-house marketer might be in charge of various administration duties, answering customer service calls and emails, and potentially may be part of the sales department.
One less person in the office may require other members of your staff to take on other job duties.
Are you thinking about outsourcing?
Hiring a marketing agency should be a carefully considered decision. Weigh the pros and cons as well as the opportunities and potential risks that an outsourced marketing firm may bring to your business.
By outsourcing your marketing, you can focus on what matters to you and your business.
Give us a call at (908) 534-9044 to discuss how hiring an outside marketing partner can help grow your business.